Kevlar® Dare Bigger™ Moments: Water Main Renewal 

Kevlar® Dare Bigger™ Moments

In 2012, the local water provider, Empresa Municipal de Aguas de Gijón (EMA), was confronted with yearly water losses of 754,224 cubic meters at one of their major trunk mains. This reflects a 15 % water loss at the pipeline in question. The cast iron water main DN 500, which was built in the 1950s, runs from La Camocha to the water treatment station in Roces in Northern Spain.  EMA Gijón had the choice to abandon the pipeline and receive water from another supplier for a significantly higher price or reinstate the existing water main. The section of the cast iron water main that was in need of rehabilitation has a total length of 2,562 m.  Along the pipeline route, there are numerous homeowners and farmers which would have been affected by traditional rehabilitation methods. The water provider would have been challenged to receive building permits from the affected parties which could have resulted in a long, strenuous and costly process. In order to achieve quick results with little intrusion into people’s daily lives and also consider economic aspects, EMA Gijón decided to deploy trenchless technologies for this task.

End of February 2014, the consortium UTE Camocha which is composed of the companies Comsa and Sardesa was awarded with the rehabilitation works of the DN 500 cast iron water main with an operating pressure of 10 bar. In order to minimize the effect of the construction works for citizens, the installation should mainly be performed through already existing maintenance chambers. Thus, long installation lengths were required. The consortium decided to deploy the Radlinger, Primus Line® technology, which is based on the use of a flexible, thin-walled tube woven from DuPont™ Kevlar® fiber, for this challenging task.

The Primus Line® product was manufactured at the Radlinger’s headquarters in Germany. The five installation sections with a length of 558 m, 528 m, 305 m, 458 m, and 713 m were pre-folded at the factory and coiled onto five transport drums. Optionally, the materials could have also been coiled onto only two drums, however, considering the confined space requirements on-site, smaller and more manageable drums were selected. The custom cut materials were trucked from Germany to the construction site in Northern Spain beginning of May. The installation of the materials was performed by the trenchless specialist SinzaTec with installation speeds of up to 10 m/min, after the cast iron water main had been cleaned with scrapers and rubber discs. The installation of the liner as well as the end fittings was achieved in as little as three weeks.

Compared to conventional methods, significant cost and time savings were realized due to a fast installation as well as little equipment requirements on-site. In addition, the work could be performed almost unnoticed by residents because of the minimally invasive method. As a result, the water supply is secured by at least 50 years.

Primus Line® with Kevlar® has been successfully used for rehabilitation of pipelines carrying gas, oil, water and abrasive media.  

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